General view of a closed gate at Pakistan and Iran’s border posts in Taftan, Pakistan on Feb 25, 2020. (REUTERS)

August 19, 2022

Pakistan’s commerce ministry said on Thursday Islamabad and Tehran had expressed a desire to sign a free trade agreement within six months to increase bilateral trade.

Pakistani Federal Minister for Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar met Iranian Road and Urban Development Minister Rostam Gasemi on Thursday and signed several MoUs at the 21st session of the Pakistan-Iran Joint Economic Commission.

Ghasemi is in Pakistan with a delegation of 57 dignitaries.

“Qamar said that although current trade volume between the two countries does not commensurate with the true potential of the two countries, yet Pakistan is committed to take all possible measures to increase the bilateral trade volume to the level of $5 billion,” the Pakistani commerce ministry said in a statement.

“In order to increase bilateral trade both sides expressed their desire to finalize and sign the Free Trade Agreement within the next six months.”

At Thursday’s meetings, the two countries also decided to work together to operationalize barter trade as per an agreement signed between the Quetta and Zahidan chambers of commerce.

“Both sides further agreed to discuss removal of Tariff and Non-Tarrif Barriers to enhance bilateral trade … the apex Chambers of Commerce from the two sides decided for more frequent business to business integrations,” the statement said.

“In order to facilitate trade an additional border crossing point at Gabd (near to Gwadar)-Reemdan has recently been operationalized by Pakistan. In addition, the purpose of agreement on International Transport between Pakistan and Iran aims to facilitate trade traffic from Turkey to Pakistan through Iran, while Iranian goods and passengers can have access to China through Pakistan. Pak­istan will have the benefits of access to other Central Asian Republics and Europe through Turkey with operationalization of the decisions taken in the 21st session of JEC.”

Arab News

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Track Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.